Doctors see chance to reduce mastectomies
Doctors hope that new research recommending less invasive surgery for a certain type of breast cancer could also help them reduce the growing number of women opting for mastectomies. David H. Song, MD, a breast-cancer surgeon and vice chairman of surgery at the University of Chicago, said for two years or more his hospital had been steering many women away from an extensive type of lymph-node surgery known as axillary lymph-node dissection. The change, he said, resulted from research presented in recent years at cancer-medicine conferences and published in complete form this week. Monica Morrow, MD, chief of the breast service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, said her hospital in September also began advising more women with cancer in some lymph nodes away from the relatively complete node removal.
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